I have been in the racing engine business for over forty years. I originally started out doing cylinder head rework for some local roundy round racers in Ct. That lead to opening my first engine building shop back in 1976 where we built racing and high performance engines for circle track, road racing, off road racing both short course and desert, drag, street cars and even boats. We concentrated on precision machine work and doing things right to help customers win races and championships. I have a very good understanding of engine building for maximum horsepower and reliability for the racing venues which required it.
I sold the Ct. shop in 1989 and moved to Ca. Here I worked primarily on engine development work, hence the name of my business, Race Engine Development. One of the first pieces of test equipment I purchased was a SuperFlow 1020 flow bench. The cylinder head will determine the torque and horsepower output of an engine. I then purchased a special high definition Cam Doctor for camshaft testing. Both pieces were used to evaluate pieces and to gather input data for my computer engine simulation software. I went to Harvey Crane’s Camshaft School to learn as much as I could about how camshafts were designed, how to check them and how to find defects in manufacture, and how to straighten bent camshafts. At the same time I went to the cam school I purchased a very nice camshaft software package Doctor Doctor from Dr. Gary Mathew to help with camshaft testing and analysis. His software has the capability of actually changing the camshaft profile to enable “producing” new camshaft profiles for testing in my engine simulation software. This enables one to zero in on the best camshaft profile, lobe spread, rocker ratios, cylinder head porting, intake manifold geometry and exhaust header design to come up with the optimum set up for a particular application. It took experience with the software coupled with dyno testing to become highly confident that what was designed on the computer would work in practice. Worked so well in fact that I could design an engine that would go together to sit on the pole and win the first time out. It was a lot of work, but the satisfaction that one could put together the pieces to do the evaluation on a PC and come up with a winning combination was well worth the effort.
Around the year 2000 one of my local shop customers asked me to do a sleeve job on a Honda engine using some parts that he had purchased. I took a look at what he had and designed something I thought would work much better. I drew up my proposed sleeve and took the drawing down to Darton Sleeve Co. in nearby Carlsbad to see if they would make it for me. The first few Honda blocks were done on a Bridgeport mill with digital readout. Soon after I figured there were many other possible applications for similar sleeves in other blocks and I would need a much larger machine with CNC to get the ball rolling. I purchased a large Chevalier bed mill and designed and made my own fixtures for the machine. The original Honda sleeve drawing and concept evolved into Darton’s line of MID sleeves and the patent for same which I am a co patent holder of.
Now my primary business is block R&D for Darton for new applications and sleeve installation for any of their wet or dry liners for Darton and a host of engine builders and end customers around the globe. I also do one off designs for special applications using Darton ductile iron blanks I machine to finished sleeves. Some of these projects take off, for instance the Ferrari large bore 308 – 328 liners and the Dodge Viper wet bore conversion for the Gen II and Gen III blocks which enable a much larger bore than via a dry liner.
I still do some engine development work and cylinder head development as time permits. The Ferrari 3.5 and the 4 liter engines available through Nick’s Forza Ferrari were done using the software methods described above. The 3.5 liter engine developed for street use made more torque and horsepower than any available normally aspirated 2 valve cylinder head racing engine by a pretty wide margin.